How to challenge status quo

“Is not Status Quo a worn out cliche, an overused management jargon? Why are you using it?” Prasna**  seemed irritated with my choice of expression.

“I agree. Sometimes I find it is easy to get across what I have in mind, when I use a cliche. When people see the video, they may not worry about the cliche.”

“Can you give me some examples of  ‘challenging status quo’?”

“I can give you many; however I will give you just one. When Titan Watches launched in India there was just one major brand: HMT watches. Almost 90% of HMT’s range was mechanical hand wound watches. Their quartz range was small and the watches were expensive. The general belief was that you can’t sell quartz watches in India. Titan’s range offered only quartz watches and  proved all the critics wrong. They created history in many ways.  Then they introduced Tanishq, selling gold jewellery.”

“Gold Jewellery?”

“Yes, gold jewellery in an organised way, with guaranteed quality. This changed the jewellery business significantly.”

“Have they done anything else, challenging status quo?”

“They created the world’s slimmest wrist watch. They were told by experts all over the world that it cannot be done.”

“So what is your point?”

“My point is this. If you want to do something worthwhile and achieve something significant you are likely to face many barriers in the form of ‘status quo’. If you are passionate and committed, then find a way to challenge the underlying assumptions that define status quo.”

“Did you notice you made two mistakes in the video?”

“I did.”

“Why are you not correcting them?”

“I am curious as to how many people will find out. There is one obvious one; the other one is not. However, I am sure many of my friends will spot them!”

**Prasna Rao is an unusual friend. He appears every time I start writing something. He is almost always there when I am writing my blog. He asks questions that are razor sharp and often makes me uncomfortable. He is relentless till I answer his questions in simple, clear terms.  You might find that he is most of the times asking questions that you want to. Therefore he is on your side, while he is putting me in the dock. I call him my Uninvited Coach


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2 Responses to “How to challenge status quo”

  1. Tathagat says:

    Nice article. However, a bigger question is why people don’t question status quo? A change agent (at both levels – organizational and personal level) needs to crack this code before he can persuade people to go out and challenge status quo.

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